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Eagles News: Carson Wentz is playing like a star to put Philadelphia in playoff position

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/23/19.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Week 16: Don’t Look Now, But Philly’s a Factor (With a Healthy QB) - FMIA
They won that night behind Wentz. They won the next week in Washington behind Wentz. And they upset Dallas on Sunday 17-9 behind Wentz and their best defensive performance of the year, holding the top-ranked offense in the league to three field goals and three-of-14 on third downs. If the Eagles win in the Meadowlands on Sunday, the NFC East is theirs. Since that rainy/corny halftime revelation in the first Giants game, Wentz is 3-0, has put up 74 points, has completed 71 percent, with zero turnovers and six TDs. He’s who the Eagles drafted, who the Eagles paid top dollar. We’re entering Week 17, at the pesky Giants, and a win means Wentz will play in his first playoff game at home. His first playoff game, period. It’s late December, I said to him, and you’re healthy, and you’re playing. What’s that like? “Ha ha,” he said, sounding like he needed to knock on some nearby wood. “I mean, this is . . . it’s God’s plan. This is what I expect to be doing every year. I haven’t been playing in these games in a while because of injuries. So thankful to be in a playoff-type game, the kind of game I came here to play in. I expect to be playing in December and helping our team get to the playoffs. I’m trying to make the most with what God’s given me.”

Eagles power past Cowboys with punishing defense and a QB who is playing at star level -
“Resilient. Energetic. I think there’s been a lot of excitement with the unknown. I think with a lot of new faces and a lot of guys that maybe weren’t expected to be making these plays that unknown factor just is exciting,” Wentz said when asked how he would describe the personality of this team. “I think just the resiliency that I’ve seen, it’s been the next-man-up mentality from really the moment I got here in Philly. You see it over and over and it’s exciting to see these guys come to work with a sense of belief and the pride they take in their work to get it done out here on Sundays.” Wentz didn’t turn the ball over, he made great decisions, and he threw the ball with confidence and precision. The offense has rallied around Wentz as he’s lifted everyone around him. That’s what franchise quarterbacks do.

Eagles’ two scenarios for clinching the division in Week 17 - BGN
This is the preferable scenario for the Eagles. They need to be able to beat the Giants again if they’re going to the playoffs. Win and they’re in. It’s that simple.

The Kist & Solak Show #163: Eagles Take Down the Cowboys! - BGN Radio
Michael Kist and Benjamin Solak react to the Eagles uber-important 17-9 win over the Cowboys to take the lead in the NFC East and control their own destiny! Powered by SB Nation and Bleeding Green Nation.

Handing out 10 awards from the Eagles-Cowboys game - PhillyVoice
On the day, the Eagles ultimately only scored 17 points, but with a couple of made field goals and Miles Sanders running in for a TD instead of sliding, they’d have put up 30. Wentz was 31 of 40 for 319, a TD, and 0 INTs, while throwing to practice squad players. At one point, he lost his security blanket in Zach Ertz, but just kept chugging along, putting the offense on his back and carrying his team to the brink of an NFC East crown. He also made several highlight reel throws, namely a beautiful touch pass in the turkey hole to Greg Ward, and a pin-point window throw to Dallas Goedert in the end zone.

Christmas Comes Early - Iggles Blitz
Carson Wentz played in the biggest game of his young career. He was missing his RT. He was missing his top three receivers. His star TE got hurt and missed time during the game. It would have been easy for Wentz to be overwhelmed by the situation. Instead, it brought out the best in him. Wentz went 31-40 for 319 yards and a TD. He didn’t turn the ball over. Wentz ran 6 times for 22 yards. He made some great throws and smart decisions. He made the players around him better. Wentz more than lived up to the moment. Imagine throwing for 319 yards with a pair of rookie RBs, a banged up TE and WRs named Greg Ward, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Robert Davis. That really is mind blowing. Please appreciate how good Wentz is right now. He is playing like a star QB.

Can Carson Wentz rally Eagles for a playoff push in December? You bet - ESPN
The common denominator in each of the past three seasons has been coach Doug Pederson, who is proving once again he can get his players to respond when it matters most, even as injuries continue to pound his roster. He lost starting cornerbacks Jalen Mills (ankle) and Ronald Darby (hip flexor) for a spell -- Mills returned -- and tight end Zach Ertz (ribs) and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (arm) were banged up, but the Eagles fought through it, as their tendency has been under Pederson.

NFL Week 16 PFF ReFocused: Philadelphia Eagles 17, Dallas Cowboys 9 - PFF
It wasn’t the flashiest performance, but Carson Wentz had a clean, efficient day at the office. Wentz relied heavily on underneath passes, but he was accurate, completing 78% of his attempts and giving his playmakers opportunities to get yards after the catch. Dallas Goedert hauled in a career-high nine passes, six of which converted for either a first down or touchdown. The second-year tight end was Wentz’s go-to target in key situations — he made a nice grab on a tight-window throw in the end zone for a first-quarter score and he followed that up by hauling in a high throw to pick up a first down on the game’s final drive.

Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert lead Eagles youth movement that’s injecting energy into Carson Wentz - Inquirer
The Eagles took one giant leap toward securing the NFC East title Sunday and now only need to take one last (small?) step in beating the New York Giants next week. It seems like a dream considering how dire the forecast has looked at times, but it might not have happened had it not been for the skill-position youth movement on offense. Really. “It’s definitely true,” Eagles center and captain Jason Kelce said. “Those guys bring a lot of energy. Every time they get the ball in their hand, they are looking to make a play. They’re excited to be playing in the NFL and I think the youthful enthusiasm rubs off on guys. I know it sure does rub off on me when I see them making guys miss and breaking tackles.”

Zach Ertz’s speech about the need to ‘burn the ships’ helps lead to Eagles’ do-or-die win over Cowboys - The Athletic
Zach Ertz gave his teammates a history lesson Saturday night. He spoke about the 16th-century Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés at a team meeting on the eve of the Eagles-Cowboys game. As the story goes, Cortés landed in the city of Veracruz off the Gulf of Mexico in 1519 and told his troops to “burn the ships.” There would be no turning back. They would either conquer or die trying. Ertz spoke to the team hours before the Eagles’ 17-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys that kept their postseason hopes alive. Had they lost on Sunday, they would have been eliminated from playoff contention. This was his Cortés moment. “He told the guys to ‘burn the ships,’” offensive lineman Brandon Brooks said. “And it was just saying, ‘when we go out there, man, there is no Plan B.’ This is the only plan. The only plan is to win. There is no second-guessing. There’s no doubting we’re going to make plays. It’s just pure confidence that, at the end of the game, we’ll come out on top.”

From healthy scratch to hero, Sidney Jones is the Eagles’ closer - NBCSP
Just think about how wild Jones’ career and season have been. Heck, three weeks ago, he was a healthy scratch against the Dolphins. And in two of the three wins since then, he’s made huge plays in the fourth quarter. “It’s pretty crazy to think about,” Jones said. A couple weeks ago, Jones made a similar play against Eli Manning and the Giants, knocking down a third-down pass late in the fourth quarter of that overtime win. He played just one snap in that game and after that win, Jones was one of several players in the postgame locker room to get a special shoutout from Doug Pederson. Watching that video, it was impossible to not be happy for Jones after all he’s been through. But no one is more thrilled about his success than his teammates.

Miles Sanders ices Philadelphia Eagles win over Dallas Cowboys in another record-setting performance - PennLive
But the rookie knew what he needed to do, and it was to serve something more than himself. Sanders had to go into “church mode.” The Cowboys were out of timeouts, and when Sanders took the handoff from quarterback Carson Wentz on third-and-2 at the Philadelphia 42 with less than a minute left, he knew he just needed to get a first down. Then, the Eagles would be able to kneel and run out the clock. “Church mode just means if you break it, get a first down, just slide so we can go get up to the ball and take a knee to end the game,” Sanders explained after the game.

Watch as a drunk Eagles fan hilariously snuck into Doug Pederson’s press conference (VIDEO) -
As Doug Pederson walked behind the lectern at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday after a 17-9 win over the Cowboys, a drunk Eagles fan, sitting among the assembled media, shouted “We beat Dallas!” Then, he cackled, and said “Right?” Pederson handled it in stride, saying: “We just wanted to go 1-0.”

Barring a miracle, the Jason Garrett Era ends with a thud - Blogging The Boys
That should just about do it. The Cowboys came out as flat as two-week old soda against the Eagles in the most important game of the 2019 season. The abysmal performance by the Cowboys should be the deed that finally does in Jason Garrett. Sure, there is always the possibility that the Eagles somehow dump a game next week against the New York Giants, and simultaneously the Cowboys beat Washington, but how likely is that? Back in reality, the Cowboys just busted their 2019 season and likely did in head coach Jason Garrett. Frankly, it’s time.

Jason Garrett Fell Flat on His Face for Possibly the Last Time - The Ringer
Coaching is about creating a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts, and there could not have been a larger gap between Jason Garrett’s and Doug Pederson’s coaching skill sets than there was in the Cowboys’ 17-9 loss on Sunday. This was the biggest game of the season for both teams. A Cowboys win would have clinched the NFC East. An Eagles victory would give them the ability to clinch with a win or Cowboys loss next week, but Philly was facing an uphill battle because of injuries that had reduced the team’s receiving corps to spare parts. Yet the Eagles had a superior game plan while Dallas looked unprepared, unfocused, and undisciplined throughout the game—and the loss may have ended both Cowboys’ playoff hopes and the coaching tenure of Garrett, whose contract expires at the end of this month.

Amari Cooper wasn’t hurt, says he was pulled before final offensive snap - PFT
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, that Cooper and Randall Cobb weren’t on the field for final fourth-down play because they needed a rest after being in for a lot of plays in the two-minute offense. Huh? Cooper missed several plays in the second half, standing on the sideline and watching. “He was rotating with Tavon Austin, so Tavon was in,” Garrett said, via Newy Scruggs of NBC5.

Five things we learned as the Giants beat Washington in overtime - Big Blue View
Say goodbye to Chase Young. For all intents and purposes, the Giants are now out of the running for Ohio State EDGE Chase Young. There is still a path to Young and the second-overall pick, but it is a narrow one that involves the Detroit Lions winning tonight, while Miami and Washington both next week. For those theory-crafting a way back into the driver’s seat for the best player in the draft, that would involve Miami beating the Patriots and Washington beating Dallas in Week 17. But in all likelihood, the Giants’ wins over Miami and Washington will have them picking fourth or fifth in April’s draft, and it is incredibly unlikely that Young will fall to them. That means that, despite how badly their defense needs an ace pass rusher to set up the rest of their defenders, they will have to be looking at other positions.

Seahawks injury updates: Chris Carson likely done for season, Duane Brown to miss 49ers game - Field Gulls
Seattle is inevitably going to look for running backs thanks to this awful news, as Homer is now the only healthy RB. It was only a few weeks ago that we were hyped for the Carson-Rashaad Penny duo, now the top three names on the depth chart all have serious injuries. Another major concern is that left tackle Duane Brown will undergo knee surgery that will put him out of next week’s NFC West title game against the San Francisco 49ers. Brown was downgraded from questionable to out on Saturday, and now the news has gotten that much worse. [BLG Note: The Eagles could potentially be hosting the Seahawks in Philly in the wild card round.]

The Cowboys’ plane couldn’t fly after their loss to the Eagles. The jokes write themselves! - SB Nation
Sunday was not a great day for the Dallas Cowboys, to say the least. They went to Philadelphia and lost 17-9. It was a hugely important game, too, one that would have clinched the NFC East for the Cowboys if they had won. Instead, the Eagles are now in the driver’s seat for the division title, and if they win against the Giants next week, they’ll make it into the playoffs. Meanwhile, Dallas would need an Eagles loss and to beat Washington next week to make it in. As if the loss wasn’t embarrassing enough, the Cowboys couldn’t even leave Philly after the game. When Dallas tried to fly back to Texas, the plane apparently wasn’t safe enough to fly.


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